Sri Lanka opened the tournament with a 49-run victory over New Zealand, then held its nerve to beat England by one wicket before romping home by eight wickets against the UAE.
Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq is the tournament’s leading run-getter to date with 260 runs, while his fellow opener and captain Sami Aslam is the other prominent scorer with 129 runs. The two batsmen have provided their side two century opening wicket starts. In bowling, Karamat Ali has bagged seven wickets while Zafar Gohar has taken six wickets.
In contrast, Sri Lanka openers Sadeera Samarawickrama and Hashan Dumindu have been timing the ball very nicely. Samarawickrama has scored 156 runs while Dumindu has aggregated 147 runs and both the batsmen have centuries against their names. Fast bowler Anuk Fernando with seven wickets is Sri Lanka’s most successful bowler, followed by Binura Fernando, who has picked up six wickets.
On a head-to-head in ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, Pakistan leads Sri Lanka by 3-1. The two sides last met in the 2010 event in Lincoln, New Zealand, where Pakistan won by five runs.
Sami, looking ahead to Saturday’s match, said: “We played in three tournaments in the lead up to the World Cup and came here with a lot of confidence. We lost the first match, but I think it was just a bad day as then we defeated Scotland and PNG by huge margins. So, I think the whole team is raring to go and will enter the quarter-final with a lot of confidence.
“Sri Lanka has been playing well so far. It beat England, New Zealand and UAE in its matches. So, I think it will be a good game, and we will try to give our cent per cent.” Sri Lanka captain Kusal Mendis said: “We have been practicing well and won all our three matches. But Pakistan is a good team and it has a good top-order line-up, including its captain. “We got good confidence after beating England and New Zealand as both are very good sides.”
The matches will start at 0930.